Saturday, 5 October 2013

Urgent Care Centers: Advantages & Limitations

Urgent care as an industry began taking shape in the early seventies as a cost effective alternative to emergency room (ER) facilities. This model works as they are designed to serve only the acute medical needs of patients. These clinics are more convenient than a general practitioner (GP) in so far as working hours are concerned and the fact that these clinics qualify as walk-in clinics. One of the primary objectives of urgent care clinics is to ease the burden ERs and accommodate and attend to more people in need of medical attention. Therefore, they can distribute efforts and contain costs.

Features of Urgent Care Centers.
Factors like working hours, the scope of available services and the doctor – patient relationship play an important role in distinguishing the functions of an urgent care clinic from that of the emergency room.

             Unlike your family GP, urgent care centers do not require an appointment. Patients can simply walk-in unscheduled. 

             Typically, urgent care clinics are open from 9 to 5 on weekdays. Some open earlier, some stay open later, and some also offer limited hours over weekends and holidays. There are also a small number of clinics that are open 24/7.

             The model assures lower overhead costs by the virtue of their size, scope and staffing policies, which means the centers can then pass these savings along to patients.

             The centers are a boon for people who are away from home and who are not in position to reach his or her primary GP.

             Most insurance companies have listed these centers as approved service providers and even offer lower co-pays, thus making it easier for their customers to receive treatment.

             There are more urgent care clinics in the United States than hospitals and ERs, making it more likely that one will be close and convenient.

             Urgent care is where a patient can go for temporary medical assistance that is non-life-threatening; or to seek transitory relief until they can consult with their primary GP.

However, urgent care centers are not recommended, nor intended, to treat critical trauma, life endangering issues or conditions that threaten permanent disability. Those issues must be attended to at a hospital’s Emergency Room, which is the only option fully equipped to deal with emergencies. What people usually fail to comprehend is that urgent care is not a full alternative to the Emergency Room. Also patients should not attempt to manage chronic diseases at an urgent care facility. Any condition that requires constant physical examination or follow-up are better treated with a GP.  

Urgent care clinics are extraordinarily useful for when you find yourself with a runny nose and your GP gives you an appointment two weeks away. They are meant to provide outpatient diagnosis and treatment of non-life threatening conditions and can attend to minor lacerations, provide intravenous hydration, or even offer certain therapies. Some of these centers offer advanced imaging services and pathological testing labs but it is a good idea to confirm these services with the center before making the trip. If a patient arrives with a condition beyond the treatment capabilities of the urgent care clinic, the clinic is prepared with transfer or referral protocols to help the patient get the care they need at the proper facility.

Other limitations of Urgent Care:

             Larger clinics that offer a wide coverage of various ailments and specialty services may have higher costs which get passed on to patients without health insurance.

             Patient confusion about whether an urgent care center or ER can best treat their condition can lead to longer wait times.

             Urgent care clinics are not staffed nor equipped to treat severe chronic underlying conditions.

             Unlike an Emergency Room, most urgent care centers do not offer 24/7 availability. Which means even if a condition is best treated at an urgent care center, a patient will either have to wait or seek treatment at an ER if they must be seen quickly when an urgent care clinic is closed.

             Unlike at an ER, urgent care physicians do not have the luxury of retaining you until you are fully recovered. They can do no more than examine you, prescribe medication and release you.

             It would be a wasted trip and wasted time if you end up being referred to the ER by your Urgent Care center.

             ERs are equipped for with all manner of life saving equipment and are usually attached to a hospital so getting any immediate follow up tests is easy. Urgent care centers typically will not be able to offer the same level of service.

Though the list above provides some examples of the limitations of the urgent care model, they certainly shouldn’t cast a pall on the entire industry. Every system has its own limitations or is meant to address certain issues with great care. Urgent care centers are just a part of the wider health care system, intended to help tackle the wait time and overcrowding problems found in the ER. 

The growth rate of urgent care clinics throughout the country and even in other nations over all these years reflects the marvelous achievement of the industry in retaining the faith of patients and providing quality care at the right price.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Seven Reasons For The Growing Popularity Of Urgent Care Clinics

Sometimes the quickest and easiest way is actually the best way and urgent care centers, popularly known as a “walk-in-clinic” or a “doc-in-the-box”, help illustrate this point perfectly. When a health problem occurs, it does not come with advance notice, nor is it generous enough to occur when we have free time to deal with it. And in those situations, urgent care clinics come to the rescue like a true companion. We can examine the growing popularity of urgent care centers by taking a look at the following seven factors.

Extended hours of service- The biggest reason for the popularity of urgent care clinics is their extended hours of operation. Most urgent care clinics offer service from 7 am to 11 pm in order to be accessible to patients who cannot take leave to visit the doctor. By opening early they cater to patients who can visit before their office opens and by staying open late, they can help families with children home from school or employees who can only visit after finishing the day at the office. These extended hours are a significant benefit for those who are too busy to miss work or for those who are unable to postpone a meeting but at the same time can’t go to office without receiving treatment. Some urgent care centers also provide full services during weekends or on holidays which can be of immense help for people who might require urgent medical care during hours where their primary care doctor is closed.

Treatment without an appointment- Before the rise of urgent care clinics it was common practice, except for emergency situations, for people to make an appointment in advance to meet their family physicians.  That meant they had to suffer their through pain until their appointment. And when even a common headache can cause so much discomfort that focus is drawn away from work, time spent waiting for an appointment can cause serious losses in productivity. Here again urgent care clinics offer a convenient solution as you don’t need any prior appointment to see a doctor. That is literally why they are called walk-in-clinics.

Cost and Insurance- To be fair, the cost of treatment can vary from one clinic to another. But in general, when compared to the cost for similar treatment at other facilities, such as the ER, urgent care clinics are cheaper and more affordable. This is a substantial benefit for patients who lack insurance and need to pay for treatment themselves.  For those patients that do have insurance, the co-pays for treatment at urgent care clinics are typically less than those at an ER and are generally on par with a family physician.  And given that these clinics accept most types of insurance plans, patients will rarely need to worry about out of network costs.

Less time waiting- Patients who have a medical issue that isn’t life-threatening have two choices: 1) visit an emergency room or 2) visit an urgent care center.  Emergency rooms are designed to treat true life-threatening medical emergencies.  Patients are admitted based on the severity of their issue, meaning someone with a serious issue like a brain injury or a heart attack will be admitted before someone seeking treatment for an issue with less immediacy.  This order of priority can result in long wait times for someone with a non-life-threatening issue.  Since urgent care centers don’t treat emergency cases, the average time to treat each case is less and because they see patients on a first come, first served basis, patients will more accurately know how they will need to wait in order to see a doctor.

Best for common ailments- Common health problems like the flu, allergies, skin conditions, sinus problem, wounds and minor injuries, minor eye injuries, and upset stomachs can be effectively handled by the health professionals in urgent care centers. Treatment for these ailments are fairly standard and therefore don’t require specialized care in a primary or emergency care unit. However, while these problems may be minor, they do need urgent attention for quick relief from the pain and discomfort associated with their symptoms.  This is where urgent care centers are the best in providing the fastest treatment without any appointment and long wait times.

Availability in your location- Recent surveys have indicated that there are almost 10,000 urgent care clinics throughout the nation and this number is expected to rise to more than 12,000 in the next couple of years. This data indicates the high degree of likelihood that an urgent care clinic will be close to your location. If you search on Google or on online urgent care directories, you can find the location of nearest urgent care clinics with a map to give you directions.

Modern facilities and qualified physicians- Most urgent care clinics are well equipped with modern labs and instruments including X-Rays, ultrasounds, vaccines, and scanners to accurately diagnose your problem.  All of this equipment means that you do not need to go to other facilities for follow up tests. The health professionals at these clinics have typically trained as emergency care doctors and are well qualified to treat a wide range of issues. They can serve you like a family physician or may refer you to emergency care for critical issues. Or if you have chronic health problem that requires longer treatment, they can provide recommendations to an appropriate specialist.

Individual opinion may differ from person to person based on one’s experience in urgent care facilities, but thanks to the above factors, urgent care centers are without a doubt one of the fastest growing segments of our modern health care system.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Urgent Care Clinics In Illinois: Why They’re Beneficial Patients

Over the years, urgent care centers have been gaining substantial popularity, not only in Illinois but also across the country, as a practical and attractive medical alternative for time-pressed, busy families.  These centers present a better alternative for them in order to avoid spending grueling hours in emergency rooms among sick crowds, simply in the hopes of seeing a doctor. 

While they are known by a few different names, such as immediate care, urgicare or even ‘docs in a box’, these urgent care centers offer a wide range of walk-in medical services and extended hours in order to provide for the treatment of minor ailments and injuries to their patients.  The sort of ailments and injuries that are commonly treated are issues like sore throats, ear injuries, sprains or fractures and other non-life-threatening medical issues.  Since these centers are generally well staffed with board certified doctors and assisted by qualified and trained nurses, you can expect quality treatment for your medical needs.  Besides, these centers also have onsite x-ray and laboratory services to make things easier for you and save you the hassle of visiting multiple facilities for these services.  Even more beneficial is the fact that most of these centers are open 365 days a year and that they accept most insurance policies.  Thus, if you have insurance, you will likely be covered and co-pays for urgent care clinics are usually cheaper than an ER visit.

Due to their convenience oriented and customer-friendly design, urgent care centers are getting a boost from hospitals and many private firms including those like Walgreens, CVS and Wal-Mart as they enter the market. As a result, we find a number of retail clinics developing in established and public places all over Illinois.  Patients find these centers easy to access and very affordable, charging much less than emergency rooms.  Insurers are aware of this popular trend and they are keen to keep costs down in order to encourage people to use these urgent care centers as an effective alternative to emergency rooms, or even a primary care physician, especially when they are closed on weekends and evenings.

However, it should be remembered that urgent care centers are only for common medical conditions.  Symptoms like difficulty in breathing, fainting, sudden dizziness, changes in mental status, severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea, uncontrolled bleeding, a change in vision and pain or pressure in the chest or upper abdomen need to be treated in an emergency room.  These symptoms can be the indicators of serious and life-threatening issues only an emergency room is specifically equipped to address. Therefore, when considering where to go for care, patients need to make an informed and conscious decision regarding which facility, emergency room or urgent care center, is best for their medical problem.  Evaluating the symptoms and knowing the difference between the treatment options is critical for identifying the level of treatment needed.  Minor medical issues can be handled more conveniently and efficiently in urgent care centers than in other alternatives. 

While urgent care centers are a vital part of the health care system, there are varying levels of urgent care.  Some clinics offer full a full staff of MD’s, while others have a team of physician assistants, who are supervised by a doctor.  It is advisable for patients to check out the scope of services offered, the credentials of the staff and the hours of operation before visiting one.  Fortunately, it is quite easy to find this information about a center thanks to the power of the internet.  A  quick online search will reveal specialized urgent care directories that have aggregated this information for clinics in your area or you can make a call and find out if a center offers a particular service or not.  In the case of finding treatment for babies and infants, you need to ask specific questions, such as whether they offer pediatric care.  You should also inquire about other important issues, like insurance coverage, as it would lengthen your wait for care to have to visit multiple urgent care centers before finding one that accepts your insurance.

As a good sign, in Illinois hospitals are building immediate care centers to ease pressure on their emergency rooms and enhance patients’ access to non-emergency care.  Many for-profit firms that specialize in this field of health care are also taking part.  With this corporate backing and some of the finest medical schools in the country, it can easily be said that the urgent care facilities in Illinois are some of the best in the country.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Importance Of Online Urgent Care Directories

The way that people search for information has drastically changed even in the last few decades and it is not an exaggeration to say that information technology has revolutionized the way society seeks and consumes information.  The yellow pages, or a phone book, were the previous method used by people in order to look up the services they needed to use.  However, the very nature of these old directories meant that the amount of information available was limited, usually to just a name and phone number.  With the advent of the internet, consumers now have an immensely powerful tool to find information about almost any business or service they need.

Online directories are a very easy and convenient way to search through the massive amounts of information available on the internet.  Information only has meaning to the people who find it relevant and can find it quickly when needed.  The rise of smart phones has only seen this become even more true, as people have become accustomed to being able to find the information they need instantaneously, and in great quantities. Online directories have been vital as a means of making sense of all this information and bringing this information to people’s fingertips. 
Google and other search engines have recognized the importance of sifting through the overwhelming amount of information available, and attempting to highlight local results in their searches.  However, only a specialized online directory can do a satisfactory job of providing a complete listing of relevant results with all the information needed by the consumer.

There are a very few industries which have been benefited more by the presence of online directories than the healthcare industry.  The importance of online healthcare directories cannot be overstated especially when viewed in the context of the urgent need and typical stress being experienced by the people who are searching for care.urgent care directories are designed to be very easy and convenient to use in order to help facilitate the care process, not impede it.
Urgent care centers are a modern concept within the healthcare system based on the ideas of fast, convenient and quality healthcare for patients, and here the importance of online urgent care directories is even more obvious.  Patients searching for urgent care need information quickly, and do not want to waste their time having to do multiple searches in order to find urgent care near them.  These clinics are oriented towards treating urgent medical issues and the best online

Accordingly, it is now quite easy to find care at urgent care centers.  A good online urgent care directory will have thousands of listings covering most cities across the country.  At the very least, some basic information should be available to let a patient know the hours of operation as well as the contact information for the clinic.  New advances have seen these directories roll out the ability to search for a provider with the use advanced searches for a clinic via a patient’s location, insurances accepted, type of treatment needed and other specialty options. Patients can also find information about various laboratories or other services managed by these centers.  These advanced capabilities give patients the flexibility they need to easily locate an urgent care center or walk-in clinic that matches their health and payment needs. 

Yet a quick word of caution.  The information available on online urgent care directories is generally quite accurate as the information is usually updated often.  However, it is worthwhile to look for signs that the listing is actively being managed by the clinics themselves in order to be assured of the validity of the information shown.  And if there are any questions, it is well worth a call to contact the clinic itself in order to verify that the patient’s insurance is accepted, or that the clinic offers the specific service needed.  Things like accepted insurances can be subjected to frequent change so making sure that the chosen clinic participates as an in-network provider can help to manage costs and prevent denied claims. All of these factors should be taken into consideration when choosing an urgent care center, in addition to the other important points like the hours of operation, driving directions, distance, and any requisite forms for pre-assessment. 

Today, we are living in the age of social media and networking sites.  Health care companies of all sizes are using online marketing techniques to attract new patients and improve their bottom line.  But in order to actually reach patients, online healthcare marketing efforts must be thoughtfully planned with a long-term commitment to build a brand that lasts.  Things such as blogs, social media like Facebook and Twitter, and the facility’s own website should all be utilized.  Urgent care directories offer a great way to reach a large number of interested patients with relatively little effort and a potential large return on investment.  For this reason, they should be a cornerstone of any marketing strategy for urgent care clinics.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Life And Medical Care Services In Pennsylvania

As a responsible and caring head of a household, there are certain details about a city and state that are particularly important to consider before moving to settle there.  These details can be broken down in to several categories, such as the overall environment of the area, which takes into account the general lifestyle and people in the area, the weather and type of climate. Entertainment is another important category which is concerned with the proximity of outdoor activities as parks, mountains, rivers, and beaches as well as the local culture, festivals available and, for those young enough, a vibrant night life.  The neighborhood itself should also be carefully considered with an eye towards the type of housing available, and their proximity to things like grocery stores or restaurants. But above all, the biggest concerns about a new place to live should be around the basic public services and facilities like schools, libraries, and available medical services within the community.  These services and facilities are essential for ensuring a certain quality of life.

Let me share my story about how I considered all these factors and why I chose to relocate my family to Pennsylvania in order to enjoy my retirement years.  For those who know me, the choice of Pennsylvania may have come as a bit of a surprise. My family is traditionally from the South and I have quite a few medical issues that will require regular medical check-ups for the rest of my life.  Though my ailments are fortunately not serious ones like cancer or memory loss, I am a diabetic and suffer from high blood pressure.  In view of my advanced age, my doctors have recommended that I receive frequent and regular check-up sand stay on medication.  And because of these ailments I have to constantly measure my blood sugar as well as blood pressure and keep detailed records of these measurements.  The small town I’m from offered only limited medical resources to help take care of my conditions.  For my minor ailments, the choice was either the emergency room, or the one primary care doctor in town.  The emergency room constantly had extremely long waits, just to be taken back to a room and wait even longer.  I can understand that other, more serious issues were treated first, but my entire day would be wasted waiting on my treatment.  The primary care doctor in town was wonderful and knew my history, but as the only doctor in town, he had a long list of patients, and getting a same or next day appointment for those times when my issues flared up was out of the question. 

I think by now you might have guessed one of the major reasons why I opted to relocate to Pennsylvania for my post retirement life.  In addition to offering a fantastic mix of outdoor activities and modern city life, Pennsylvania is also known to have a number of excellent healthcare resources for older Pennsylvanians with facilities like modern urgent care clinics in almost every city and borough throughout the state. When researching the medical resources available in places to live, I came across the urgent care concept and immediately knew that it could help me with my issues.  Rather than having to wait several days for an appointment with a primary care doctor, or spend all day waiting in an emergency room, urgent care centers offer walk-in appointments for urgent, but non-life-threatening issues.  The doctors typically have experience in an emergency room, which means they’re well trained to take care of almost any urgent issue and the caring, courteous staff that I’ve encountered make for a much friendlier environment than a sterile ER.  Never once have I felt that the level of care I received wasn’t of the highest standards.  Making sure there are appropriate medical facilities during my travels is also important to me and I even had the occasion to visit a walk-in clinic in Gettysburg when I went to view the site of the Civil War battle. 

This is not to say that there aren’t a full set of medical services available in Pennsylvania.  There are plenty of emergency rooms available but they are no different from others I have visited. They are literally packed with people who are suffering from major and serious problems and you must endure the typical piles of paperwork just to have a 5 minute visit with a doctor. Pennsylvania also has significantly more medical specialists than my hometown, so I feel comfortable knowing that if I develop any further serious medical issues as I age that I will be able to find treatment.  However, for the moment, knowing that an urgent care center is available to provide quick treatment whenever needed is quite comforting.  And while receiving quality medical care was the primary factor in my decision to move, other people will love the history of the state, the beautiful scenery and all the outdoor activities.  For all of these reasons, I have greatly enjoyed living here in Pennsylvania.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Urgent Care Centers In California

There are many reasons why urgent care centers are growing in popularity, not only in California, but all across the country.  When you have a medical issue that can’t wait for an appointment at your regular doctor, there are generally two options that you can choose from.  You can either go to an emergency room at your local hospital or a private medical facility such as an urgent care center.  These walk-in clinics are an alternative to emergency rooms for when you aren’t suffering a true medical emergency.  Though they are typically privately owned, they are still managed like an extension of the public health system.  The clinics are usually ideally located in busy and convenient public places in cities and towns all over California.  Many people don’t seem to yet realize the growing popularity of these medical facilities and what sort of services they can provide. But the fact is that more and more people, after having a bad experience in an emergency room or facing a long wait to get an appointment at their doctor, are looking at other available options and realizing that minor medical issues can better be handled in urgent care centers than in the ER.  Healthcare experts and policy makers have also acknowledged the role of these auxiliary medical facilities, praising them for doing a great job in aiding and assisting the entire medical process, especially in easing the pressure on emergency rooms. If used in an appropriate manner as a supplement of primary and emergency health care, an urgent care clinic can be a critical part of the medical fraternity and aid in the mission to provide practical and effective healthcare to the public. 

In the present environment of healthcare reform, the excessive use of emergency rooms at hospitals needs to be assessed.  Various studies have shown that upwards of 17% of all visits to an Emergency Room could be better treated at other facilities.  And the savings that could be realized with a better utilization of other options could be upwards of $4.4 billion.  Almost any medical condition that doesn’t qualify as a true medical emergency can safely be treated at an urgent care center or walk-in clinic.  California is home to an excellent network of urgent care centers, with several hundred throughout the state.  And as far as healthcare reforms are concerned, California is recognized as being ahead of the curve in implementing the law.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of low-income Californians have better access to health care and medical services like urgent care centers have a greater role to play in delivering value to those patients.   

There are several reasons to go to an urgent care facility.  It is not only the cost of treatment at an urgent care center in California which is significantly lower than other medical facilities, but also the wait time and time for treatment.  However, benefits like a personable staff and significantly more available locations when compared to emergency rooms shouldn’t be discounted.  These urgent care centers are generally open nights and weekends, and accept walk-ins without an appointment.  They treat very common injuries and illnesses like cuts and lacerations, sprains and strains, urinary tract infections, vomiting and diarrhea, flu like symptoms and minor burns. Some clinics are even equipped to take X-rays and perform simple blood, urine and drug tests. According to the Urgent Care Association of America, an estimated 3 million patients visit them each week.  All of these advantages just serve to further justify the rapid growth of urgent care centers all over the country.
It is a fact that the walk-in model has always been one of the most appealing features for consumers when they are seeking immediate treatment.  For modern society, convenience can be as equally important as other factors.  Advances in technology means patients can now use computers or their smart phones to make good use of their time and wait comfortably at home until the doctor is ready to see them.  Busy people value convenience and appreciate the ability of urgent care centers to bring a convenient solution to their medical needs.  For all of these reasons, it is quite apparent as to why urgent care centers have been booming in California and why they will continue to increase in popularity. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Fasting Is Not Healthy

Some evidence shows that certain forms of fasting are good for health but may not  appeal or be appropriate for ever one. Hypoglycemic or diabetics should think properly before they fast as they may suffer from low blood sugar which can lead to many health problems. Fasting is not something that should be taken lightly. You need to pay careful attention to your body, your energy level and how it makes you feel in general while fasting. If fasting is not done carefully and properly then it could produce adverse effect with some people.

Fasting for a short time leads to headaches, dizziness, fatigue, abnormal heart rhythm and low blood pressure. When people have these side effects they may have problem while driving a vehicle, operating machineries and sometimes working in office also. Fasting can be especially dangerous in people who are already malnourished, such as those with some forms of advance cancer. Death results when fasts outlast the body’s supply of stored energy.

In your plan to lose weight fast, you may consider the option of fasting. Many medical experts and dietitians warn against the practice of fasting for weight loss. It has been proved that the prolonged fasting is not an effective way to lose weight it can be very unhealthy and dangerous. Fasting is a natural process that occurs when you do not consume any food for three to five hours and during sleep. Natural fasting is an essential process and it is not harmful to the body. Prolonged fasting, which is not eating food for 16 to 20 hours each day and it practiced continuously for many days or weeks leads to many health problems. While some people only abstain from solid food allowing fruit juice and water, others insist they should not eat or drink anything for several days in a row. This is a very dangerous way of fasting to lose weight.

When you are fasting, your body will go into a self preservation more to counter starvation. It will begin to slow down your metabolism and increase the production of cortisol.  This cortisol is a stress hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands. When you are suffering from illness or stress, there will be larger than usual amount of cortisol in your body. A high amount of cortisol can make you physically, mentally or emotionally stressed. When you are not taking enough food, the cortisol in your body will try to release certain amino acids from your muscles and convert them to sugar. By releasing amino acids, cortisol is actually breaking down your muscles tissues. Losing muscles can slow down weight loss because you need muscles to burn excess fat in your body. Cortisol releasing amino acids also affects brain, kidney and red blood cells.

If you fast and do not consume food for a prolonged period of time, your body will produce fewer thyroid hormones. The loss of thyroid hormone will slow down metabolism significantly. When you begin to fast, your appetite hormones will be suppressed but they will be fully active when normal eating resumes resulting in increased hunger. With slower metabolism and increased appetite, you will begin to gain weight fast instead of losing weight.

Prolonged fasting can deplete the supply essential nutrients in your body, such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fatty acids, minerals and electrolytes. This can lead to the development of various health problems such as fatigue, headache, dehydration, dizziness, constipation, hypoglycemia, anemia, muscles weakness, gall stones and mental confusion. Muscles tissue is spared during the time of fasting due to the effects of glucagon and growth hormone. This hormone protects our muscles from being used as energy to prevent our own organ tissues from being broken down. Using muscles as energy is the body’s last resort once our body fat stores have run out.

Fasting usually reduces the amount of stomach acid, which digests food and kills bacteria. Some people develop gastrointestinal problems. Digestive enzymes are secreted in the stomach which moves in high concentration and need food to act upon. In the absence of food, these digestive enzymes keep circulating within the stomach and damage the lining of the digestive tract. This leads to acid reflux, gastritis problems and even ulcer.

Another area of concerned is the gall bladder, which is like a balloon that holds bile for digestion. Eating forces the gall bladder to contract, pushing bile in to the digestive tract which helps digestion. In the absence of food, this bile keeps accumulating inside the gall bladder. Gradually it can turn in to sludge, leading to the formation of stones.

Traditionally fasting has been associated with meditation and less activity. These days, people continue with their everyday activities while they fast. This is very unhealthy, as the body needs proper nutrients for activities. This leads to dehydration and fatigue. Not eating or fasting reduces the immunity level as the body is deprived of vitamins and nutrients essential for effective functioning. This is vulnerable to all types of diseases such as increase glucose intolerance, cardiac problem and sometimes hypertension also.

If you are suffering from any kind of health problem, it is advisable that you do not fast because you will be more susceptible to other diseases also. 

Monday, 15 April 2013

Medifast Diet For Diabetic Persons

Medifast diets have been found to be like godsend for hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. Are you too frustrated with the excess weight you carry around? As if this was not complicated enough, are you diabetic as well? Ok so I suppose you would find this article of good use.

Diabetes is known to stay with the unfortunate ones, for long, painfully long. It compels one to change her / his lifestyle and the compulsions with the food can affect one’s social life critically. Having diabetes means the individual’s body fails to produce the essential quantity of insulin and that plays truant with the blood sugar levels in the body. More often than not, this shows up with an alarming increase in the weight of the individual. Prescription medicines from your diabetologist are usually quite expensive and require incessant monitoring.

If you have not been able to spare time for workouts at a gym or cook yourself food that is low in calories, carbs and fat, and you have a made-up mind to try out an alternative, then you must consider the Medifast weight management & meal replacement programme and seek to address the dual problem of obesity as well as diabetes.

Stepping into the programme would mean following a regime different from the one that you and or family follow. The programme pursues a five prepackaged meal plan. It prescribes an additional meal that you make on your own and that would be a lean & green meal. It is supposed to fulfill the daily vitamin and protein requirements and would therefore consist of three servings of vegetables, fruits and lean white meat such as chicken and or seafood. Vegetables high in starch and sugars and beef and pork find little or no place in the diet programme; this could mean you need to avoid corn, peas and onions, at least until you meet your weight loss objective. Collard greens, lettuce, spinach etc are some of the prescribed low glycemic vegetables. This measure helps with a jumpstart with an expedited fat burning phase. You may resume these when beginning the maintenance phase though. So you follow this programme and forego all that you have been used to all through your life. Medifast diets are made up of pre-prepared stews, soups and puddings to serve your lunch & dinners. For snack times, it offers varieties such as chocolate drinks, oat recipes, food bars. The idea is to replace your diets with a balanced one that takes complete care of one’s health as well as the palate. The plans are scientifically proven to cut down hunger pangs at various times of the day that plague us all with adverse effects riding piggyback.

Shedding weight in the case of diabetics has been found to be extremely difficult if not impossible. The favorable and proven effects from none other than John Hopkins have found physicians prescribing Medifast meal programme to their patients, many of whom are diabetic. These are also known to be free of causing any side effects on the health of individuals. If being healthy means defending the arteries from its arch enemy in the form of calories, and thereby be safe from stroke and hypertension, many people would love to try it out. Blood sugar levels tend to behave in the case of diabetics, when her / his caloric carbohydrates, protein and sugar intake is regulated from being profuse with help coming from Medifast’s carefully researched and designed formula diets. The researches confirm that while losing calories, in a measured way, with each passing day, you do not lose muscle mass. Cool! No other solution in the market has found support from various quarters of this magnitude.

The results also establish the beneficial effects on people afflicted of Type 2 diabetes who have lost mind blowing number of pounds – up to twice in comparison to other recommended food guidelines. The delightful news is that likelihood of continuing with the diets are double. The icing on the cake is the high possibility of discontinuing with diabetes prescription altogether.

All the diabetics who wish to bring change in their miserable life style must examine the Medifast way after a thorough consultation with their diabetologist and look forward to a more joyous life.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Rest, Retirement And Urgent Care In Arizona

While searching around and trying to determine the best places to retire, I found an interesting article that gave me significant pause.  It listed several unique places and explained exactly why they would be perfect for post-retirement life. The list included some very popular as well as little known places which ranged from large international cities, to sea-side resorts in small countries.  However, what struck me as most curious was that not one of these “best retirement locations” was in the United States. I was quite surprised and a bit annoyed at the author for ignoring this country which has taken great pains to cater to the needs of its growing population.  Including recently undergoing massive healthcare reforms designed to boost the present healthcare system and medical technology.  It’s well acknowledged that our country can make improvements in our healthcare system, but we are still among the best in the world and are still at the forefront of medical breakthroughs.  These reforms are intended to bring even better healthcare facilities to the country’s ailing and aging population. The article that ranked the best places to retire gave seemingly little weight to available public health services and the medical facilities needed to address the needs of the aged.  As I get older, I find these things to be of ever increasing importance, and I’m sure others of my generation would agree.  Looking out my backdoor to see the beach won’t mean much if I don’t have my health to enjoy it. In spite of the lack of attention given to health care needs, I did appreciate the idea behind the author’s article and his attempt to use an analytical and logical way of assessing a proper retirement destination.

According to the 2010 US Census, the 65 years and older agegroup represents 13% of the U.S. population, that is, about one in every eightAmericans.  And, it is estimated that by 2030, there will be about 72.1 million people in this age demographic, which is more than doubling the number in 2000. Since I am about to join that club of senior citizens, I decided to sit down and evaluate my choices of places to settle into post-retirement life.  This is when I found the article referenced above, but I wanted something a bit more local.  I was interested to discover if there is a place that has unique health care facilities available, such as a good range of specialists or urgent care centers for those times when you just can’t wait to see a doctor.  But I also want to enjoy my retirement, so other essential characteristics such as the local weather, cost of living, cultural programs, housing availability, public utilities, sports facilities and the overall safety were exceedingly important. When I take all these factors into account, Arizona seemed to be a perfect fit. And apparently I’m not alone, as it seems an ever larger group of seniors are choosing Arizona as their home for their golden years making it one the most sought after states for all variety of retirement communities. 

There are several specific things that attracted me and others to Arizona, but one of the most important is Lake Mead.  Its pinwheel shape is surrounded by the combination of pink desert and lush green land making it a truly beautiful spectacle.  You can also indulge in a lot of other activities, thanks to Hoover Dam and the various sporting activities on the lake, such as boating and fishing for all kinds of fish including largemouth bass, striped bass, carp channel catfish, crapple and sunfish.  The vast surrounding scenery which includes gigantic dams, sprawling lakes, deserts, and mountains will quickly capture your imagination and help you forget the worries and agonies of your “working years” and live a contented life.  

If you consider Arizona’s climate, population trends, job opportunities, schooling, living costs, taxes, economic trends, medical facilities and state laws, it becomes perfectly clear why it tops many best places to retire lists. And with regards to the ever important medical or healthcare facilities in Arizona, you will find a large number of emergency rooms, walk-in clinics, in-store health care clinics, primary doctors, urgent care centers and all kinds of specialties to cater to all of your urgent medical needs.  The nature and frequency of the medical needs of our older generation is quite different and we need to make sure we’re located near facilities that can handle those needs. Blood pressure, sugar level, weight management and lots of other issues become more important as we age. Arizona not only has the doctors and specialists available for those needs, but if I need an appointment quickly, they have an abundant selection of urgent care centers in Arizona available to provide care. All of these factors make me quite comfortable in my choice to move to Arizona and enjoy the rest of my life.  

How I Overcame My Obesity By Medifast Diet

I was only 27 and I could see my life coming to an end.  Whenever I saw such a huge mass of my body, I became so miserable, tired and exhausted.   Hopes were fading and days kept getting longer and longer leaving me drink last drops of it.  When I saw my friends full of life and vigor, I thought I couldn’t carry on any longer.   Despite the fact, I could have mustered my strength to fight back and revived my fading hope of regaining my lost status, had there been positive results trickled down even slowly from all that I followed and practiced so religiously.   In those days of my struggle without end, I was introduced to the name of Medifast by one of my good friends.  And, as if a drowning man catches at a straw, though I was undecided whether to go with the new plan or to resign to my fate and silently bear all that pain and agony, half heartedly I took a step forward in the path I was led.  For the first time, when I heard about Medifast and its famous 5 & 1 meal replacement plan along with its as many as 70 great shakes and soups, I became bit suspicious of its effectiveness and efficiency as a diet program to fight against overweight and obesity.  In simple words, it occurred to me that if I ate so many delicious meals and tasty nutritious shakes, how I could shed those extra pounds, and hence the fear.   

                                                Anyway, hoping against the hope, finally I decided to go with Medifast diets after a much persuasion and careful verification of facts, figures and witnesses about the program and its practicability in life.  As it happens with any authentic, genuine and proven thing; soon all my doubts and suspicions turned into a strong belief and lifelong practice.  Now, I am a great fan of Medifast and all its meal plans, shakes and recipes.  I have heard friends turn into foes, but, here it is just the opposite, a doubter into an enlightened follower.  Anyhow, it is said, all well that ends well!  Now I am a much happier and more contented man with all my worries and concerns gone.  As regards the results, if I testify about my own self, you may not accept the fact and believe me.  Instead, ask any of my diehard opponents who used to count my days of life and shake their heads at my fate, they can speak for the health and fitness now I enjoy.  When I myself a much surprised man, there is little doubt about my opponents getting shocked and taken unawares at the progress I made with Medifast diet in such a limited time.
                                               However, much of this credit goes to Medifast which made it possible through its wonderful meal replacement plans and great nutritious shakes.  Much of the wonder is done by the Medifast 5 and 1 meal plan.  How great it is to lose weight while keep eating sumptuous meals throughout the day!   But, this is how Medifast diet plans lead its clients to the path of success and glory.  Medifast believes dieting does not need to be complicated and accordingly advises its clients not to get involved in the details of the planning and the dieting.  It only makes it sure that dieters consume healthy balanced and complete diet.  Hence dieting has to be stress free and simple.  Just relax and wait for the wonders and surprises.  However, the secret of Medifast meal plans is that they are clinically proven and carefully designed which also include one lean and green meal every day without losing any food and taste essentials.

                                               It would be injustice to think Medifast without its popular shakes it is famously known for.  There are lots of shakes to choose from to quench your thirst and dry mouth.  There are the ready to drink shakes.  If you are diabetic but can’t tolerate gluten, don’t worry; Medifast has also options for you.  These 70 shakes are really great; pretty tasty, convenient and filling.  In addition to these, you can also have varieties of soups like chicken and rice, chicken noodle, cream of tomato, chili and what not.  Medifast has everything for everyone.  Open your mouth wide and Medifast will fill it, and you can be their great preacher like me.  This is all about how I overcame my obesity by Medifast Diet.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Ample And Compelling Reasons To Go For Medifast Diet

Ever since I realized that I was putting on excess weight, I had been desperately trying different weight loss programs one after another but to no avail.  In the initial days, I frantically read a lot of weight loss tips and tricks for men and women, young and old, professional and business people etc. to gain knowledge and find a suitable way out for the stifling state of my health and fitness.  The so called weight loss experts and gurus who love to write volumes, talkhighly of their weird and bizarre ideas and promise quick solutions; could not meet my requirements and mitigate my misery, instead left me much confounded and confused.  Just as they are known for, they love to prescribe long lists of dos and don’ts as if their clients were straight from army schools and follow their dictates in letter and spirit.  If some claim magical 30 second weight loss tricks, others provide impressive 100 weight loss tips; and if one program underscores calorie counting as secrete of weight loss, other one the strict exercise regimen.   In such chaotic mixture of disagreeable sounds, it was obvious and natural for me to be a much confused and wretched man till I came across Medifast, a true name to reckon with and come out of the mire called Overweight. 

Once bitten twice shy, I will never repeat the mistake and go with all those ineffective weight loss programs or fraudulent business schemes.  Instead, I should continue with Medifast Diet program as I have not only found the program very persuading, convincing and compelling but also very effective in shedding those extra pounds in a much quicker time than I had expected.  Unlike those weightless diet plans being marketed today, Medifast meals plans are nutrient-dense and properly proportioned with the right amount of carbohydrates, fat, protein, minerals and vitamins.  That is why over 20,000 doctors all over the world have confidently been prescribing the Medifast since 1980 as healthy diet plan to their clients.  Ask any of those over 1 million contented Medifast fans, they will explain you how much delicious and healthy their meals are.  When you have such an excellent meal replacement diet where the calories are already counted and measured in the best way to lose weight as quickly as possible, there is no need to worry about anything; how to find something healthy and nutritious to eat.

There are quite a few reasons as to why I should go for Medifast diet.  Since, my primary goal is to send forth those extra pounds that used to hound my mind day in day out, I appreciate Medifast’s 5 plus 1 plan for it has  helped me lose 2 to 5 pounds a week or conversely as high as 20 pounds in one month.  If you are one like me, this will be a life changing experience for you.  Now, you need not count this or measure that, as an alternative you can begin your weight loss journey without compromising your taste and preference thanks to the delicious dishes Medifast has to offer, which you can order online right from the comforts of your home and not surprisingly your meals are delivered right at the door step.
Besides this famous 5 plus 1 plan, you can find Medifast offering nutritional bars, shakes, and snacks loaded with required fat, calories and carbs much to your pleasant taste.  Medifast dishes also include delicious soups, puddings, tasty brownies etc which are enriched with balanced minerals and nutrients.  You will also find scrambled eggs, diet shakes, pretzels, energy drinks etc to supplement other meals so that you will not miss any essential nutrient like carbohydrates, fat, protein, minerals and vitamins. 

Another important advantage to Medifast diet is the convenience of the prepackaged meals.  There is no reason to shop for food and cook meals every day when you can sign up for the Medifast diet plan and have everything premade and delivered directly to your home.  Moreover, the cost of Medifast diet is wonderfully cheap if order in bulk.  As you know, the times are tough and the economy is bad; it is wise to avail of the attractive medifast coupons and coupon codes to beat the price line.  If you consider the advantages of Medifast diet plans, I am sure; you can find them unbeatable at the present scenario. 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Secrets Of Success For Urgent Care Centers

Unlike a family General Practitioner (GP), a walk-in clinic is available to provide medical services when you actually need them. We are certainly not talking about life threatening conditions as for those you should rush to the nearest medical facility providing emergency services. Scheduled medical consulting is another matter entirely perhaps best suited for consultations of a chronic problem. During this type of treatment, a specialist has to study the patient consistently over many weeks and months to monitor their health and ever changing prescriptions.

We’re going to focus on urgent medical care services, which is the delivery of walk-in care in a medical facility outside of a regular hospital. Of late, urgent care centers have been opening all across the country in convenient spots around your city and town. Most likely, you will be able to find one located within a few miles of you. So there is no need to panic and feel that you have to head to an ER for every medical issue. For treating minor ailments or issues, the ER can be too crowded, the possibility of catching a contagious disease looms high and to top it off, you will likely wait for quite a while as patients with medical emergencies are treated first.

Most urgent care clinics are open 7 days a week and they typically are open after normal business hours, with some even open 24 hours a day. Often GP’s or dentists or cardiologists are single person teams and they just physically cannot be expected to provide such continuous hours of service. Such practitioners tend to keep a long list of clientele who get served by an appointment system, which can make it difficult to get in quickly. Contrast this to the urgent care center model, which offers physicians during all hours the center is open. In effect, such centers provide same the same services as a family or primary medical care doctor, but with the difference of being cheaper and quicker. Depending on the location, these centers can offer services like general medical care, occupational medicine, x-ray’s, lab tests, vaccines, school and sports physicals and on-site pharmacies to receive prescriptions quickly.

There are numerous situations where you may have a medical problem but your family GP’s offices are not open or you’d have to wait too long to get an appointment. What would you do if you had abdominal pain? What would you do if your young daughter fell off her bicycle and has a deep cut on the knees and scratches on her arms? These are examples of situations where perhaps an urgent care center would be your best option to receive quick and effective medical aid. Since these centers do not cater to serious ailments, the length of consultations are typically short, which translates into shorter wait times, especially when compared with an ER. The physicians are experienced and place a premium on customer satisfaction, striving to give the appropriate attention to each and every patient. They know how much you value your health and time and they endeavor to make sure you get the best professional treatment available. They offer individualized care and try to make you feel valuable and comfortable, which is quite underrated when you’re not feeling well!

Due to the local nature of its operation, an urgent medical care center allows you the opportunity to gain a sense of confidence and faith in a doctor. You can build a relationship with a doctor in your community, for any frequent minor conditions. Colds, rashes, urinary tract infections or similar ailments, sprains, and stitches are taken care of swiftly, cases are reviewed, x-rayed, bruises disinfected, cuts sewn or dressed up, and before you know it, you are back in your bed in your cozy home, relaxing. That’s the key benefit that ultimately has determined the success of urgent care centers. Their focus on minor conditions means patients are treated promptly and thus don’t clog up resources at an ER that could better be served treating needier patients.  The urgent care model means patients are treated on a first come first served basis.  This means there can be a wait, but a wait of 20-30 minutes is relatively minor if it means getting treatment for a nagging problem and being able to get back to work or play quickly. 

Another advantage of urgent care centers that doesn’t get much attention is the cost of treatment.   When compared to other sources for such services, such as an ER or even a family doctor, urgent care centers are typically the cheapest of all options. This is yet another reason that urgent care centers have become so successful and well-liked by people looking for alternative solutions to deal with minor conditions.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Urgent Care Centers In The Modern Changing Times

In the present environment, the key to success in the healthcare sector is to deliver more value and quality to patients seeking care.  In order to accomplish this task, modern healthcare service providers need novel strategies and practices to cope up with changing trends and challenges.  Yet despite all the feelings of growing excitement and aspirations for a better and disease free future created by health care reforms and the availability of advanced medical treatments, including increased awareness in the prevention of diseases, nothing substantial seems to have been achieved so far when we examine the rising costs of healthcare.  

While there are a few auxiliary healthcare services meant for treating minor and non-life threatening injuries and diseases, urgent care centers seem to have taken a prominent position in this healthcare niche.   In fact, urgent care centers are able to assume a considerable amount of responsibility and take away pressure and burdens from core healthcare services like hospitals and emergency rooms, thereby enabling these essential services to devote more resources to treating serious and life threatening issues.  Without this relief, traditional healthcare services would become overburdened, thus revealing the importance of urgent care centers as an indispensable and necessary part of the healthcare system.

This point can be further proven when we examine the way urgent care centers offer comprehensive medical attention to patients from all different walks of life.  Patients that are leading busy, hectic lives and always seem to be short of time can find the urgent medical treatment they need for their serious but non-life threateninginjuries and diseases at an urgent care center.  Healthcare experts have noted their preparedness and ability to tackle minor issues using minimum resources and manpower.  In comparison to emergency rooms in hospitals, theirs is a small setup, but they still are extremely capable with highly specialized and trained staff consisting of professional and licensed medics.  Unlike emergency rooms which can be staffed with doctors who are stressed and fatigued due to the heavy burden of caring for the sheer number of patients with serious and life-threatening illnesses or injuries, urgent care centers have a workforce that is much more relaxed and focused on the whole of their duties and responsibilities.  These urgent care centers cure a number of ailments, general illnesses, injuries and other diseases. 

It is widely accepted that significant advances in healthcare have resulted from the use of modern science and technology.  Yet at the same time, patients have also noticed a decrease in the amount of human interaction they receive with their doctor.  Emergency rooms and primary care physicians are seeing more and more patients, meaning there is less time for the doctor to spend with each patient.  Urgent care centers are among the few alternatives that still place a premium on the importance of doctor/patient interaction. They understand the emotions, constraints and priorities of their patients and treat them with compassion and the utmost care.  They seem to find a good balance between the need to treat patients as fast as possible, while still maintaining a caring touch in order to lead them back to normalcy and good health.  It is possible only due to their progressive, energetic, efficient and attentive staffs that are always ready to help and serve. 

Urgent care centers are also preferable for a number of other reasons.  They have facilities with modern equipment and electronic machinery similar to many hospitals and can attend to many kinds of non-life threatening emergencies.  These walk in clinics are cheap and affordable in comparison to emergency rooms in hospitals.  They attend to minor issues like a fever, flu, asthma, cuts, wounds, rashes, burns, and other similar injuries.  As already mentioned, their labs are well equipped with the latest technologies in order to conduct tests needed by the patient, such as drug and pregnancy tests.  Modern urgent care centers are self-sufficient, meaning you need not go to other facilities for x-rays, ultrasound, vaccines, or medicines. An urgent care center will be able to provide all of these services in-house.

Due to their nature of their design, quick wait times and preparedness for a multitude of issues, urgent care centers are suitable for a modern busy and working professional.  Since these care centers operate beyond normal working hours, a busy professional can find them very convenient and suitable for their medical needs, no matter when they may strike.  Moreover, you do not need a prior appointment to meet and consult with a doctor at these clinics.  By design, they allow for walk-in appointments whenever needed.   The eager and courteous staffs in the centers are always willing and ready to treat the patient.  Ideally located in the most cities and towns, urgent care centers truly are living up to the trends and requirements of modern times.